New York Mayor Bill de Blasio

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is moving forward with his disastrous plan to pay convicted criminals $1,000 a month not to commit more violent crimes. The initiative is known as “Advance Peace” and is being sold as a “transformational opportunit[y]” to pay “young men ­involved in lethal firearm ­offenses.”

Yes, the Mayor’s plan to address the root causes of firearms-related crime and violence is to pay off those who have committed it.

And just in case criminals in the program haven’t already learned enough about their craft on the streets, offenders will get mentorship from other ex-criminals as a key part of the program. The scheme seems to be part of de Blasio’s goal of achieving “real redistribution” of the city’s tax dollars he announced when he cut the NYPD’s budget by $1 billion last year.

According to the Advance Peace website, the goal is to end “the cycle of gun hostilities.”

By working with and supporting a targeted group of individuals at the core of gun hostilities, Advance Peace bridges the gap between anti-violence programming and a hard-to-reach population at the center of violence in urban areas, thus breaking the cycle of gun hostilities and altering the trajectory of these men’s lives.

Apparently, this program is somehow supposed to offset the effects of the shutdown of the NYPD’s anti-crime unit, which was dissolved last July after the nationwide George Floyd riots.

The most amazing part is Mayor de Blasio really thinks paying criminals not to commit crimes will work, even though it’s already been a colossal failure in other cities, something the New York Post noted:

In Sacramento, three neighborhoods were targeted for an 18-month Advance Peace intervention, which really only covered 2019. Those districts did see a decline in “gun homicides and gun assaults,” compared to the mean of the previous 36 months, though the comparison period is skewed by the sharp rise in the national murder rate caused by the “Ferguson Effect” in 2015. Murders across all of California, for example, rose steeply in 2015 and 2016, and then returned to pre-Ferguson levels. 

The Advance Peace program in Stockton, Calif., on the other hand, was a disaster. Murders rose from 28 in 2019 to 45 in 2020, up 60 percent, much higher than the 37 percent ­increase nationwide. 

The summary fact sheet for the Stockton program announces proudly that 71 percent of its 34 participants “are not a suspect in a new firearm-related crime.” Similarly, the Sacramento program boasts that 44 percent of its 50 members “had no new arrests.” Of course, that doesn’t account for the 17 original participants who dropped out or were arrested in the first six months. 

Perhaps, like socialism, paying criminals not to commit crimes just hasn’t really been tried yet.

De Blasio’s plan is the most nonsensical thing I’ve heard in a really long time. Defund the police and disband the anti-crime unit – the very people tasked with protecting the public – and bribe criminals not to be the thugs they are is mindblowing. Not only is this plan stupid, but it’s wildly irresponsible. It’s rewarding dangerous behavior, especially when most of the offenders committed their heinous acts with firearms, instead of incentivizing being a productive member of society.

What this does is tell young men and women that they can commit a crime, join the program, and get $12,000 a year to “follow the law.” This incentivizes those in the poverty cycle to rob someone at gunpoint and then join this program.

Most Americans favor some sort of rehabilitation for convicts. We want to see them get an education and technical training so they can break the poverty cycle and the need to break the law. That doesn’t mean we want to turn over our hard-earned dollars so these people can be paid to sit and home and not stick up the corner bodega. Most of us would consider following the law part of being a responsible adult. But not in de Blasio’s topsy-turvy world.

The New York program will also be used to also argue that “universal basic income” is somehow necessary. And anti-gunners will argue the “gun violence epidemic” can be solved by handing out cash to people in particular “high risk” states and neighborhoods.

This is just the beginning.

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